Ten Things That Have Stopped Me from Submitting to elephant journal.

Via Amy Taylor
on Aug 8, 2012
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…and how I got over it.

I’ve been thinking about it for awhile now. I love elephant journal from its grassroots to the tips of its unkempt hair.

I love the passion, seeking and closeness to the edge. I love to share articles with my friends so we can sigh together, virtually.

Offline, I write and teach yoga. No wonder this place feels like home, right?

Still. Every time I think of submitting my own work, I shiver and shake. Here are some of the reasons why.

Fear (free-floating)

I live with a constant anxiety buzz that propels me around life like a remote-control helicopter endlessly circling the living room. Eventually I crash hard. Then I wake up, find something else to worry about and begin again. Yoga helps some but not nearly enough.

Fear of Rejection

Polite or not, no one wants to be rejected. I’ve rarely placed my heart or soul on the line. I’m more likely to wait until I’m sure you like me before I decide I like you. Hey, it works…sort of.

Fear of Criticism

I’ve been writing regularly for the last seven years but I’ve never allowed my creative endeavors to be “workshopped.” It sounds too much like “chopped up.” As in, into tiny pieces. As in my soul. Ouch.

Fear of Haters

I did submit a guest column to a parenting blog a few years back. I wrote about my fear (surprise, surprise) of getting sandwiched between caring for my kids and my folks and never finding time and space to pursue my own dreams. My piece was popular. One of the kinder comments was that I “wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.” Others implied that I was a selfish wench deserving of immediate evisceration. They pretty much got their wish, in the metaphoric sense. I crawled back into my shell, clutching my belly.

Fear of Truth

See above. Sure, I know there are always going to be sharper knives. But who needs to be reminded?

Fear of Exposure

It’s a strange world. Strangers feel like friends while friends increasingly feel like strangers. Still, I live in a small town with a husband and children who are, to put it mildly, ambivalent about my penchant for personal writing. We’ve pretty much got the local gig figured out. So, what happens when I take it up a notch? How does it affect them?

Fear of Myself

Around these parts, I write safe. I don’t court conflict and I never show my whole hand. Elephant journal demands more from its writers. I know I’d need to dig deep into the gritty mess inside in order to reach the standard. Some days, I’m not sure I want to know that stuff about myself, let alone share it with the world.

Fear of You

Whether you greet me with love, hate or indifference, by putting myself out there, I’m inviting your input. For an introvert like me, that feels like a big deal. I’ve spent my life keeping a low profile. Elephant means a lot to me and I know many of you hold it dear. I don’t want to disappoint.

Fear of Change

I’ve been writing columns for a local paper owned by a corporate magnate for some time now. They own all my work, a privilege for which they pay me a little over minimum wage. I have enjoyed having a forum and using my voice to shape the direction of the community. It’s also been a great practice field. But I think I’m ready to play now.


It always seems easier to stick with the known even when it’s slowly killing you. It’s safer to skirt conflict and maintain anonymity. I’m great at getting stuck in ruts and pretending I like getting muddy. In truth, I’m ready for challenge and change. I’m ready to, as they say, upgrade my underwear.

So, I’m facing my fears and submitting some stuff. Personally, I think elephant’s a sweet fit for my yoga-loving, sunflower writer self. Agree or disagree, give a fig or don’t–I’m taking the leap.

And now it’s your turn.

Jump with me?




Editor: Seychelles Pitton

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About Amy Taylor

Amy Taylor writes about parenting, yoga and other journeys for jconline.com, GaiamTV, elephant journal and others. Find her biweekly columns here. She completed 200-hour YTT at CITYOGA in Indianapolis in 2008 and teaches classes for all ages at  Community Yoga. When she's not writing or practicing yoga, Amy loves to read, research and have adventures with her husband and twin sons. Follow her on Twitter.


25 Responses to “Ten Things That Have Stopped Me from Submitting to elephant journal.”

  1. We welcome you with open arms and hearts, Amy.

    Not only that, but you've already written what will my standard link to send all the many writers who tell me they'd like to write but are stuck for one reason or another.

    Good fit indeed! Very glad you're here.

    Bob W. Associate Publisher
    Enjoy Best of elephant journal

  2. Amy says:

    Wow, thanks, Bob! I am thrilled to be part of my favorite online hub. I appreciate the opportunity and the welcome!

  3. linda buzogany says:

    ah the refreshing air of honesty. Welcome…

  4. Amy says:

    Thank you, Linda! I appreciate it.

  5. Amy says:

    Ha, you can tell I'm a newbie because I keep posting new comments instead of replying! We'll see if it will let me reply to myself…

  6. jan says:

    the thing that stops me from writing for ej is that it exploits free labor to pay waylon's mortgage.

  7. cathy says:

    YAHHOO. I jumped that bridge in the same way in mindbodygree. Then the jump to EJ was because I had so much to say in one topic area. Joining you already wet, loving the dunks

  8. Amy says:

    Good for you! It's nowhere near as scary as I feared and much more fun. Love mindbodygreen, too!

  9. suzette says:

    So what's the procedure to submitting to ele?

  10. Zoe says:

    Once again a timely article arrives to push me forward. I've been thinking about this for a long while now. My fears have been not being able to write well enough and consistently keep people's attention week after week and then hitting a week where I'm tired and post something stupid which is what I don't want to do. Yet it has remained on my to do list. I think it would be a really good practice for me and I think it is an opportunity for a lot of growth. I feel like the little train that could "I think I can, I think I can." I'm going to go for it. If there is more nerves here than going into an arm balance, then this is where my yoga is. And I'm going to follow the advice I talk about all the time which is "meet yourself where you are and breathe there, find your own edge." If its a bomber then fine and if its a success then fine. Thank you Amy for taking the jump and writing this article!

  11. elephantjournal says:

    Just click the Submit button, top of every page!

  12. Melody says:

    I love this! I felt this way about 6 months ago and made that leap. Welcome to ej.

  13. Amy says:

    You can do it! The rewards are great. It feels as if there's more space in my lungs now. Thank you for letting me know my words resonated!

  14. Amy says:

    Thank you, Melody!

  15. Welcome Amy, and way to go!

    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." ` Winston Churchill

  16. Lauren says:

    Mamaste has been trying to get me to submit for a few weeks now…you just put all my excuses out to dry!!! Ok…I'll jump with you! ~ Lauren

  17. Here's a helpful guide: "How to become an elephant writer" http://bit.ly/Acb5qO

  18. Amy says:

    Thank you for the encouragement, Chris, and also for sharing that quote! I may have to print it and stick it on my computer…

  19. Amy says:

    Great to hear, Lauren! Best wishes!

  20. Chris Fici says:

    Thank you for your honesty Amy and welcome to the Elephant community!

  21. Amy says:

    Thanks, Chris!

  22. thelindseyoneill says:

    Love it, Amy. As a recent contributing elephant myself, I couldn't have said it all any better. It is taking a leap for sure, and there will always be disagreement, but it is good practice for building up our Teflon, and knowing the only person whose opinion of us truly matters is our own. You say it so well when you say "you have more space in your lungs now." And that is the priceless feeling of freedom and speaking one's truth. Great to have you here.

  23. Amy says:

    Thank you, Lindsey!

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